More than 5,400 people residing in Kuwait have applied for asylum in other countries since 2018, according to a recent study.
The majority of those seeking asylum were stateless people known as the “bidoon”, the Arabian Gulf Centre for Studies and Research, a think tank in Kuwait, said.
About 120,000 bidoon live in Kuwait.
People from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Lebanon living in Kuwait were among those who applied for asylum.
Most of the asylum applications were to the UK, Canada, the US, France, Germany and Scandinavian countries.
Kuwait’s population in 2022 was estimated to be 4.4 million, with foreigners accounting for about 70 per cent of the total.
Iraq and the UAE were the top Arab destinations, with as many as 150 seeking asylum in Iraq since 2018.
The report said the number of asylum applications from residents of Kuwait fell to about 565 in 2022, from 1,359 in 2018.
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About 254 of them applied for asylum in European nations, a marginal decline from 257 in 2020.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees revealed that about 1,029 people in the Gulf country applied for asylum in other nations in 2021, corresponding to about 0.024 per cent of the entire population of the country.
The most preferred destinations were the UK, France and Austria.
Overall, 62 per cent of asylum applications were rejected.
Despite the decrease in 2022, Kuwait had the highest number of asylum seekers in the Gulf region.
It was ranked 16th among Arab countries, the report said, based on statistics from European Agency for Asylum, an EU agency.
Source : TheNationalNews